When, where and why do I read? Over the years, it's the why that's changed most. During childhood I read tucked away in a corner of the lounge, often surrounded by noise. To this day I can read in a room full of people, oblivious to their presence. Today I stretch out on the sofa, or sometimes on a sun lounger in the garden.
As for when; whenever I have a spare moment of course, although now I've retired I can indulge in the afternoon (and over breakfast), as well as during the evening.
So why read? As a child I read to escape; anything I could get my hands on, from the awful Janet and John books to Cider with Rosie and To Kill a Mockingbird. I buried myself in books, shut myself away, metaphorically speaking, from a turbulent family life. Reading was an individual, isolated experience. I was frequently told to "Get your nose out of that book and do something useful". Nowadays I read (mostly novels) to gain knowledge, to learn about other cultures, families, lifestyles, and the past. I read for the sheer pleasure of reading.
However, reading is no longer the solitary activity it was as a child. It is a truly social experience. I love sharing my reading experiences and circulate books I have read amongst my friends, eagerly awaiting their reactions when the book is returned. As for my reading group, which I joined to broaden my reading; this has brought a new dimension to the social aspect of reading. Every member of the group brings different experiences, preferences, prejudices and, as a result, opinions and interpretations. Reading, therefore, doesn't fit into my life, it is an inextricable part of it, as it always has been.
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